Mary Corse discusses the inspiration behind her works
13 January 2021
A pioneer of light-based art, Mary Corse was one of the few women working in California’s Light and Space movement in the 1960’s, whose members included James Turrell, Robert Irwin, and Larry Bell. Paying little attention to the backdrop of the male-dominated school, Corse focused on her own mastery over the materiality of light and expanded the boundaries of painting. Interweaving minimalist painting, Abstract Expressionism, and scientific inquiry into her own language of art, Corse developed a practice that holds a unique space in art history.
Born and raised in California, Corse expresses her deep appreciation for its climate and its beautifully expansive sky, but maintains her works have nothing to do with the landscape, or even the sunlight that surrounds her. Corse’s works are rooted in abstraction and her internal world. ‘We live in abstraction. You don’t see the other side of the moon. You don’t see the room behind you. But they’re still there,’ she says. She studied Willem de Kooning, Hans Hofmann and Josef Albers, and developed her own language of art. Her paintings are an expression of the human perception of objects, rather than a rendering of the object itself. With a paint brush in her hand, Corse immediately becomes immersed in a world that eclipses daily musings and judgments. ‘The act of painting has the ability to transcend your moment and put you in a different sphere. In painting, I find infinite conversation instead of finite thinking,’ she says. The resulting works engage the viewer in an open-ended conversation with abstraction. They look different to each individual, from moment to moment, from one angle to another. Even cosmic forces such as light, space, and time are felt and experienced differently by every individual. Her paintings awaken the viewer’s consciousness, sparking a deeper connection with the external world and with one’s own soul.
Read the full article and find further information on Corse's recent Lisson Gallery exhibition via Art She Says.